Letters: Accies blunder needs to spark planning shake-up

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The Ombudsman has now confirmed that a full transport assessment should have been prepared as part of the application for a major development in Raeburn Place, Stockbridge (News, January 6 and 8). Concerns were also raised over the level of “friendship” between the developer and planners.

These issues come as no surprise to the local community which has repeatedly, through campaign group Save Stockbridge, requested that Edinburgh City Council complies with Scottish Office guidelines and instruct the applicant to produce a completed report.

Local councillors, too, struggled to get any satisfaction and like Save Stockbridge met a brick wall and feeble excuses as to why one should not be produced.

Through a Freedom of Information request, Save Stockbridge acquired correspondence which would suggest at the very least that there was collusion between the two parties and that the council was in favour of this development, irrespective of the views of local people right from the start.

Traffic congestion in Stockbridge remains critical and as a priority route for all three emergency services, the construction of a 2500-seat stadium, several large retail outlets and restaurant/bar facilities for up to 1200 customers can only serve to paralyse the area.

The council is expected to be fair, unbiased and profesional – sadly, in this case, there is little evidence of this. The Ombudsman has upheld a major complaint and has ordered the council to apologise for failing to follow Scottish Office guidelines and request a full traffic assessment.

Save Stockbridge is all for the sporting element of this build, but the scale of retail and commercial developments challenges so many bye laws and threatens the peace of the neighbourhood. If the project materialises, it is a great pity that it is so shrouded in controversy.

It is important that the council reorganises the planning department as soon as possible so that this type of thing is never allowed to happen again.

Perhaps now is the time for those implicated in this latest scandal to consider their positions, step down and make way for those really interested in the city of Edinburgh.

Bruce Thompson, chairman of Save Stockbridge, Comely Bank Place

STV Edinburgh is a welcome new addition

I was delighted to read about the launch of STV Edinburgh (News, January 12), but am disappointed that The Fountainbridge Show does not have subtitles. I do hope some other programmes they broadcast will be subtitled.

I am looking forward to more local items, because living in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, many of us in the south of the city only get what is beamed from Shotts.

Some programmes have a Glasgow bias and often the weather forecast shows nothing east of Falkirk! I’m told this is because the Castle interrupts the signal from the Fife transmitter.

H Rae, The Grange, Edinburgh

Traffic calming is long overdue measure

The time is long overdue for traffic calming throughout Edinburgh – pedestrians have been at the bottom of the list of transport priorities for far too long.

A robustly enforced 20mph regime will transform the quality of our streets, and reap major benefits in terms of injuries and deaths of more vulnerable road users.

Restricting the limit to local roads and side streets would be a missed opportunity, since – as noted by Neil Greig of the Institute of Advanced Motorists – many of the trunk and arterial roads through the city have high levels of pedestrian activity and are the location of many accidents.

The city council and the police deserve our support in introducing and enforcing this bold new policy.

David Spaven, convener, Living Streets Edinburgh, Church Hill Drive, Edinburgh

Punch-ups have no place at Playhouse

I was at Wicked on Saturday night at the Playhouse. Great show but, at the end, there was fighting in the front rows. What a disgrace!

There were kids watching. If that is the impression that Edinburgh wants to give, then it’s sad.

Steven Harrison, by email, Edinburgh

MoD puts us all at risk with nuclear weapons

The Ministry of Defence this week ignored warnings of wind, rain and snow to drive four nuclear bomb carriers plus a very large escort, across the country through Glasgow and over the Erskine Bridge.

The convoy left the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Burghfield in Berkshire at 9am on Sunday. It was tracked across the country by Nukewatch and was filmed as it passed Birmingham on the M6 earlier in the day (YouTube video).

On the M74 at Hamilton it drove under an overhead sign, which read, “winter weather take care”. It then went through the centre of Glasgow on the M74 and M8 between 11.35 and 11.55pm. There were illuminated ‘high wind’ warning signs on the approaches to Erskine Bridge, but the convoy ignored the safety notices and continued over the bridge, 45 metres above the Clyde.

Thus Britain ignores public safety as it continues to defy international law and all morality by deploying nuclear WMD. And we in Scotland continue to be complicit in this ongoing war crime.

This is the terrible price we pay for being “better together” with Trident.

Brian Quail, Hyndland, Glasgow